13,877 Influencing Change: CORE India Polio Learning, The Drum Beat 773


The Drum Beat 773
May 8, 2019
Influencing Change: CORE India Polio Learning





In this issue:


Released today, “Influencing Change: Documentation of CORE Group’s Engagement in India’s Polio Eradication Programme” [PDF] is a publication that, through text and colourful photographs, documents the key strategies used by the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), working alongside the Indian government and other agencies, to contribute to the eradication of polio in India. The Communication Initiative (The CI) worked with CGPP, which is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative, to produce this document, and the purpose of this Drum Beat is to introduce you to its contents – with the hope you will refer to the full resource and use it in your work.
From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • 1.Influencing Change [Overview]
    Located in Gurgaon, the CGPP India’s secretariat consists of a team who recognised the need to introduce a social mobilisation component to the polio eradication programme that would be designed to reduce family and community resistance to the oral polio vaccine (OPV). CGPP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Rotary International started working together (with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding) as the Social Mobilisation Network (SMNet) in 2003. For “Influencing Change”, the CGPP team identified 6 SMNet strategies as the most effective in reaching the population with OPV. In this document, CGPP shares its experiences, challenges, and lessons learned by describing the process of each of these strategies as a guide for those who may want to design similar strategies for social mobilisation in other sites and settings. Each chapter describes the rationale, design, implementation, and achievements of the strategy and concludes with a statement from one or more CGPP team members reflecting on key lessons.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

  • 2.Partnering with the Government: Collaborating to End Polio
    To address the misconceptions and resistance that flared up in 2002 with the introduction of house-to-house visits by vaccinators (vs. parents bringing their children to fixed booths/sites for vaccination) and more intensive immunisation campaigns, the Government of India (GoI) needed to regain trust by promoting people’s participation in and ownership of the polio immunisation programme. This chapter explores how the GoI looked towards partnerships with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – in particular, the CGPP – to undertake rigorous social mobilisation at the community level. The chapter also outlines key SMNet achievements/impact.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

  • 3.Behaviour Change Communication Strategy: Innovative Messages and Indigenous Tools
    In order to gain communities’ trust to break the resistance to the polio vaccine, the programme had to understand the communities’ needs and concerns and develop messages and materials that were not only technically sound but that also respected the attitudes and beliefs of the communities. With improved data collection and behaviour analysis, CGPP segmented their audiences, designed and developed messages and materials, and used a mix of methods to achieve their defined objectives. CGPP and its partners then used a multipronged communications approach that encompassed (i) interpersonal communication (IPC); (ii) group meetings and community gatherings engaging community influencers, religious leaders, children, and mothers; and (iii) use of key community sites such as mosques, schools, or festivals to disseminate their behaviour change communication (BCC) package and generate demand for health services. CGPP developed a set/kit of information, education, and communication (IEC) tools that were meant to be participatory and fun.
    Click here to read more and access the document.
Accessing “Influencing Change”:


  • 4.Empowering Women and Building Community Ownership: Community Mobilisation Coordinators
    This chapter describes the role of Community Mobilisation Coordinators (CMCs) within the CGPP’s social mobilisation activities and the polio campaign as a whole. It looks at how these personnel, many of whom were women, used communication strategically to overcome the challenges of resistance and lack of immunisation coverage. Using one-to-one and group meetings as the main tools for behaviour change, the CMCs addressed parental concerns, built faith in the polio programme, created trust between polio eradication personnel and local residents, and helped identify and track missed children. The acceptability of the CMC, which was aided by the fact that she was part of the community in which she sought to create positive change, was key to the success of the SMNet. Many CMCs described their involvement in the programme as life changing, saying they gained valuable life skills and self-confidence.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

  • 5.Engaging Influencers: Building Trust
    India’s quest to eradicate polio from the country was complicated by, among other factors, misinformation about the polio vaccine that led elders and local leaders to fail to support – or even to discourage participation in – immunisation programmes. This chapter details the key elements of one of the CGPP’s central social and behaviour change strategies: identifying and involving members of the community who had social, political, and economic influence in their community. They sanctioned behaviours and actions, were a source of credible information, and would therefore be able to apply social pressure to motivate their community members to change their resistant attitudes towards polio. CGPP stresses the importance of involving the community in identifying the influencers and motivating and sustaining them with regular meetings to reward their participation and achievements.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

  • 6.Messengers of Change: Involving Children in Polio Awareness
    The CGPP was convinced that by encouraging the participation of children, they would be able to extend their reach in the communities. Children could operate as messengers of change and encourage their parents to vaccinate their younger siblings. In addition, involving children as mobilisers would be a colourful and effective way not only to increase coverage, but also to educate the next generation and instill a spirit of community service that can be tapped into for other child health problems. This chapter from the document Influencing Change (see Related Summaries, below) details the key elements of CGPP’s child-to-parent approach to disease education and prevention. For instance, the day before booth day, children would march through the community, beating drums and shouting slogans, to create a celebratory atmosphere and to generate interest in the vaccination campaign.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

  • 7.Making Inroads with Mobile Populations
    One of the key reasons polio eradication efforts in India were undermined was because of difficulties in consistently vaccinating children living in migratory families. This chapter describes a comprehensive migrant vaccination strategy developed by the CGPP to reach children of migrant labourers who travelled seasonally throughout India from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and neighbouring Bihar. For example, after familiarising themselves with the dialect/language spoken by the community in order to gain their trust, CMCs held meetings with various community members to understand their reasons for non-participation in polio vaccination drives. Strategies such as “transit vaccination”, in which OPV was administered to mobile and transitory populations, were also introduced.
    Click here to read more and access the document.

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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDIBBC Media ActionBernard van Leer FoundationBreakthroughCiturna TVFundación Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI)HeartlinesJohns Hopkins Center for Communication ProgramsMaternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)MISAOpen Society FoundationsOxfam NovibPAHOThe Panos InstitutePuntos de EncuentroSAfAIDSSesame WorkshopSoul CitySTEPS InternationalUNAIDSUNICEFUniversidad de los AndesWorld Health Organization (WHO)W.K. Kellogg Foundation

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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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